Thursday, June 14, 2007

Carnival Of The Space Geeks (Seventh Heaven) Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas
(Image Credit:

The seventh Carnival of Space is up over at Star Stryder with various posts by other space geeks. Some really interesting highlights included:

  • Alan Boyle discusses the potential of space diving, which is like sky diving, except much, much higher.
  • Dan Rankin rebukes space scientists for ignoring the potential resources of Mars today by focusing on the past. (Amen to that!)
  • The mysterious Flying Singer delves into the real reasons for human space exploration.

But the best post of the carnival thus far has to go to James who has an interesting post about recycling human waste for fertilizer (ghetto!!).

(Surfin' English) Not only do hydroponic farms serve as air and food sources, they also serve as natural garbage bins. The minerals, bacteria, and other stuff in human waste can be used by our plants as fertilizer, which then filters our air, and grows us more food to make poop from. Plants also add a nice splash of colour to our spaceship.

Poop may be the biggest offender, but it's not the only one. Urine, dirty air filters, filthy and ripped clothing, bandages, sanitary napkins/toilet paper, plastics from food wrappings, the list could go on forever. But there are simple, though not easy, solutions for all of them.

Our urine can be filtered using the same process as the Space Shuttle and ISS, and dumped right back into the drinking water. Or the water can be used by the plants, and partially filtered by the soil network, and we can use the ammonia and other chemicals in urine to keep our space ship’s windows clean.

Although advertising this would probably be a good way to filter out those who really want to settle Mars from those who simply want to visit there, James may have a point. However disgusting (and unappealing) this may be, recycling our own waste could enable humans to "seed the planet" with fertile soil.

Martian dirt may not only be lacking in plant vitamins, but it could potentially be fatal towards most living organisms. Hauling nutritious soil (or fertilizer) is probably not an option for our future explorers, and NASA may have to convince astronauts to "create" the fertilizer themselves.

Obviously each astronaut would have to "handle their own" by products, although NASA may have to build a robot to do most of the farming, otherwise they may find themselves with a mutiny tens of millions of miles away.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Darnell. I always get a warm feeling in my heart when someone notices the crap I write about.

    And you took it one step further than I did, I hadn't even considered the potential for converting extra-terrestrial soils.

    I'd like to do an "Obstacles to Space Colonization" series when this is done, and then I'll get the chance to talk about poop again.


You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

But if you choose the former, you'll definitely get a better view.

~Darnell Clayton, 2007

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